From Policy to Practice: Tobacco Use Cessation for Employees in the Veterans Health Administration

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Abstract

Objective:

To describe a comprehensive approach to increase tobacco use cessation in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee population.

Methods:

The approach included: 1) national policy; 2) a pilot tobacco use cessation program; and 3) two operational surveys to assess system-wide tobacco use cessation service provision.

Results:

The proportion of VHA facilities offering a comprehensive tobacco use cessation program increased from 51% in 2010 to 72% in 2014, with 83% of facilities providing nicotine replacement therapy to employees. The WIN by Quitting Tobacco program was successful; employees who participated in the pilot program quit tobacco at high rates (64% at 1 month post quit date).

Conclusions:

From policy to practice, the comprehensive approach to tobacco use cessation in VHA was successful and may serve as a model for future workplace health promotion and occupational safety and health initiatives.

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